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Honoured Mary Beard says her children will treat her as a pantomime dame

The Cambridge classics professor and television presenter Mary Beard is now a Dame. Credit: Matt Crossick/Matt Crossick/Empics Entertainment

Cambridge classicist Mary Beard said it was a "smashing honour" to be made a dame in the Queen's Birthday honours.

Beard, who was awarded an OBE in the 2013 New Year Honours, will receive a damehood for services to the study of classical civilisations.

The University of Cambridge professor is well-known for her online presence and regular appearances on classics and discussion panel programmes on the BBC, as well as contributing to Radio 4 series A Point Of View.

Yet she expects her friends and family to throw around a few jokes.

"I think there will be a bit of ribaldry to be honest - and a few jokes about 'pantomime dames'. But all good fun," she said.<

"It is of course a smashing honour. I feel especially pleased that someone working on the ancient classical world gets honoured in this way.

"I'd like to treat it as a bit of a tribute to the Greeks and Romans themselves - as well as to all my wonderful academic colleagues who also do so much for the study of antiquity."<

– Dame Mary Beard

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E-Luminate Cambridge shows city landmarks in a whole new light

The sixth E-Luminate Cambridge Festival has begun.

Some of Europe's top artists have helped transform city landmarks - including Senate House and Gonville and Caius College - into pieces of art.

The festival runs until February 14.

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Artefacts from India go on show in Cambridge

Pieces from India's Taj Mahal, one of the seven Wonders of the World Credit: University of Cambridge

Artefacts from India's indigenous communities will go on show at Cambridge University for the first time.

Among the objects on display to the public, are pieces from the Taj Mahal, a head-hunters skull and a snake-charmer's flute.

The exhibition, Another India, celebrates the 70th anniversary of India's independence from Britain.

This is an exhibition about the India – or the many Indias – that most people in the UK don’t know.

We didn’t want to do a show about Bollywood, saris and curry, but instead highlight a massive body of marginalised people – numbering nearly twice the population of the UK – who to a great extent aren’t seen as having culture, heritage and history of their own.

– Mark Elliott, Curator

Muslim converts face discrimination says new report

The report studied the challenges and concerns facing Islamic converts in the UK today Credit: PA Images

People who convert to Islam face being shunned by family and friends, and even targeted by the security services, according to a new report from Cambridge University.

Academics from the university's Centre of Islamic Studies found that many Muslim converts also suffered physical and mental abuse.

The study by the Cambridge Centre of Islamic Studies examined nearly 50 Muslim converts of all ages, ethnicities, faiths and social backgrounds.

"I always joke with people that it's a bit like 'coming out' and I've discovered a lot of people who concealed this until the later stages.

I was exposed as a Muslim to friends and family inadvertently and my parents took it hard. They never came to my wedding.

I was also subject to some ridicule at work, which I now look back on as completely unacceptable in the modern world."

– Adrian (Jamal) Heath, Participant
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